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Posted: Friday 8 March, 2024 at 9:24 AM

Passport of Alleged Fraudster Deactivated by Government

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- After weeks of silence on another passport scandal, Prime Minister Dr. Terrence Drew has confirmed that the travel document belonging to an economic citizen has been deactivated.


    This action was taken as the individual is said to be on the run from law enforcement in the United Kingdom.


    International court reports from the United Kingdom last month noted that a Chinese national, Qian Zhimin, traveled on a St. Kitts-Nevis Passport back in 2017 under a fake identity (Zhang Yadi). Zhimin was involved in a £5bn investment fraud scheme involving bitcoins in China and the UK.


    UK media reported that the woman allegedly defrauded more than 100,000 Chinese investors before fleeing to the UK. Attempts were made to clean the funds by allegedly seeking to convert the bitcoin into high-valued assets such as expensive watches, property, or cash.


    The entire scheme started to unravel because no source of funds could be provided. Wen Jian, an employee of Zhimin, according to court reports, was the one who allegedly sought to have the proceeds cleaned. Jian has since been charged, indicted, and has been testifying before the court on the matter.


    Dr. Drew addressed the case during his Round Table discussion, confirming that the travel document was indeed deactivated upon the government learning of the criminal activities. In a defensive tone, the prime minister explained that the individual gained citizenship under the previous ‘Team Unity’ Administration.


    "Regardless of how you obtained citizenship, we will ensure that if you break the laws of any other country, we will take the necessary measures," Dr. Drew stated. "And we took the necessary measures with respect to that individual; the passport has been deactivated."


    The government has been working in recent months to improve the CBI program after several individuals were found to be involved in criminal acts subsequent to obtaining citizenship. To address this, the government has established the Continuing International Due Diligence Unit (CIDD).


    Attorney General Garth Wilkin recently discussed this topic with Freedom FM, explaining that the government currently has a system in place to notify them when a holder of a St. Kitts-Nevis passport is accused of committing a criminal act, potentially leading to the revocation of the passport.


    "This has become an important international issue! The Ministry of National Security has set up a Continuing International Due Diligence Unit (CIDD), which is going to be launched very soon," Wilkin stated. "The Unit will liaise with international law enforcement organizations and be the channel for any information about Saint Kitts and Nevis citizens living abroad who are alleged to commit any form of crime."


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